higurashi ni aki no noyama o wakekureba kokoro ni mo aranu nishiki o zo kiru When at sundown Through the autumn mountain meadows I come forging, Lying not within my heart, Brocade I am, indeed, cutting!
aki to ieba amagumo made ni moenishi o sora sae shiruku nado ka miyuran ‘Autumn’ is when Even as far as heaven’s clouds Have burned, but Why does the sky Seem so clear?
Composed when he presented a hundred poem sequence, during the reign of former Emperor Horikawa.
yamazato Fa sabisikarikeri kogarasi no Fuku yuFugure no higurasi no kowe A mountain retreat is Lonely, indeed; The biting wind Blows of an evening with The sundown cicadas’ cries.
Fujiwara no Nakazane
aki no yo ni tare o matsu to ka higurashi no yūgure goto ni nakimasaruran On an autumn night Who is it that you await, I wonder? The sundown cicadas With each evening Cry ever louder…
akikaze no fukikuru yoi wa kirigirisu kusa no ne goto ni koe midarekeri The autumn wind Comes gusting late at night, when The crickets From every single blade of grass Let out confused cries.
 This poem was included in Gosenshū ( V: 257).
higurashi no naku aki yama o koekureba koto zo tomonaku mono zo kanashiki The sundown cicadas Sing in the autumn mountains Passing by, Everything is somehow All the more sad…
aki no no to nari zo shinikeru kusamura no miru hi goto ni mo masaru tsuyu kana The autumn fields Have all turned to Tangled clumps of grass— Every day I sight them, How finer is the dewfall!
 This poem was included in two later anthologies: Fubokuwakashu (6015) and Shūfū wakashū 秋風和歌集 (307).
New Year Archery
azusayumi haru no higurashi morobito no yo ni iru made mo asobitsuru kana Catalpa bows At sundown in springtime Many folk, ‘Til night covers all, will Disport themselves!
moda mo aramu
toki mo nakanamu
mono’omopu toki ni
nakitutu motona When all is tranquil
Then, too, would I have you sing
O evening cicada!
But when I’m so sunk in thought
Do you cry endlessly!
A poem by Ōtomo no Yakamochi on the evening cicada.
kinaku pigurasi Shut indoors and
Sunk in misery,
I wonder what would console me;
Going outside, I listen and,
The evening cicadas come calling…
Ōtomo no Yakamochi
When he had gone to Saga to dig up plants for his garden.
nobe ni ya koyoFi
tabinesinamasi At the sunset
I see, yet cannot get my fill
Of maidenflowers, so
In the fields tonight
Should I make a traveller’s bed?
Fujiwara no Nagayoshi
Composed at the time a hundred poem sequence was presented, during the reign of former Emperor Horikawa.
Fuku yuFugure no
Figurasi no kowe A mountain dwelling
When the chill winter wind
Blows on an evening with
The sunset cicadas’ song…
Fujiwara no Nakazane
katsushika wase o
karu mama ni
tami no sode sae
uruoinikeri Showers fall in
Katsushika; early ripened rice
Even the peasants’ sleeves
murasame no sora Bush clover blooming
In the mountain’s shade;
The sundown cicadas
To the showery skies.
Neither team has any criticisms to make.
Shunzei say, ‘The style and construction of both poems is superb, though the Left’s is particularly archaic in tone, and thus using
mama ni in the central section is somewhat weak, is it not? Surely, “Whilst reaping” ( karu nae ni) would have been a better fit! The Right’s simple conclusion of “showery skies” ( murasame no sora) is particularly effective. However, the Left, too, with “even the peasants’ sleeves” ( tami no sode sae) shows a fine spirit. The two poems are a match and tie.’